I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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WILLMAR - Ridgewater College has announced the closure of its computer art and publishing program. The program will close at the end of this school year, and second-year students will be able to graduate in the spring. The school is helping first-year students explore their options for next year. The program is a victim of budget cuts and low enrollment. The school will lose one full-time faculty member as a result of the closing. Read more about the closing in Thursday's West Central Tribune.
Lindsey Harms, an eighth-grader at Willmar Middle School, summed up the new lunch-time treat for many of the students: "It looks weird but it tastes good." The whole grain and vegetable blend was popular with many students during the eighth-grade lunch hour as chef Mike Holleman helped serve it in the cafeteria. It rounded out a lunch of chicken nuggets, green beans and peaches.
WILLMAR -- Two weeks at NASA's Ames Research Center left an indelible impression on four Willmar science teachers, and their students are reaping the benefits of their work this year. The four teachers -- Rob Flegel, Margaret Schmitz, John Kuznik and Ben Panchyshyn -- were among three dozen teachers across the country chosen to participate in a two-week paid internship/workshop at a NASA research facility. The four went to Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar business community could be a partner in helping the Willmar School District put iPad2 tablet computers in the hands of high school students next year. Members of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce met with school officials this week at Willmar Senior High to learn more about how the tablets can be used and to talk about the school's needs. High school teachers Lyle Hovland and Tyler Gehrking spent about an hour demonstrating the ways they have found to use applications in their classrooms.
Ted and Ray will have different names when they go to the White House today to be pardoned by the president. When they meet President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden, the turkeys from Willmar will be named Liberty and Peace, according to a news release from the White House. They were going by the names Ted and Ray when they left Willmar on Monday. The bird named Liberty will be the official national Thanksgiving turkey, and Peace will be an alternate.
WILLMAR -- Ted and Ray behaved admirably Monday morning, for a couple of turkeys. It was clear that the hard work of four Willmar High School FFA members had paid off. Brianna Hoover, Brenna Ahlquist, Val Brown and Preston Asche have spent hours in the past two months socializing a small flock of turkeys so that one of them could be pardoned by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.
WILLMAR -- In its first two months, the African Development Center office in Willmar has focused on housing issues as much as it has on business development. That wasn't necessarily his initial plan, said Abdirizak "Zack" Mahboub, who directs the Willmar office. He is the African Development Center's emerging markets manager for Greater Minnesota. The Willmar office also works with African communities in Marshall and St. Cloud. The African Development Center is based in Minneapolis and is a large small-business lender in the Twin Cities area.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District ended the past fiscal year with a fund balance of $5.9 million, more than 14 percent of its annual operating expenses, an auditor told the School Board this week. Most school districts in the state are trying to maintain balances of at least 10 percent, said Paul Harvego, an auditor with the Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing accounting firm. In delivering the fiscal year 2011 annual audit report, Harvego praised the work of Business and Finance Director Pam Harrington and her staff.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board may have used the proper statute to close a meeting to the public Monday, but it didn't follow the procedures spelled out in the law, according to an expert in state open meeting issues. The board closed its meeting Monday before voting 5-to-1 to terminate volleyball coach Terrin DeBoer. DeBoer told Tribune sports reporter Rand Middleton on Tuesday that she will seek a hearing to appeal the termination and present her story to the board. DeBoer has 14 days to file the appeal after being notified in writing by the district, according to Superintendent Jerr
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board voted not to renew the contract of varsity volleyball coach Terrin DeBoer Monday. The board closed its meeting for about 45 minutes before adopting a resolution to terminate DeBoer. However, the board did not appear to follow the provisions of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law in closing the meeting. Reasons for DeBoer's termination were not made clear at the meeting. DeBoer just finished her third season as coach of the Cardinals. Her teams finished 18-18 in conference matches in that time.